86: It’s all about…. YOU

When someone has a diagnosis of a disease it doesn’t only impact on you as the patient but frequently on a wider circle of friends and family.  One of the Dare 2 ladies, Denise has a niece who even though she is young was affected by the cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Denise had the full works of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, there are still side effects from this and she is mindful about looking after herself.  She is even more mindful about looking out for others in her job where she deals with bereavement in the kindest way possible.  Young Grace, a Brownie, had grown her hair long enough to have it chopped off and donate it to charity – she raised £200 for the Primrose Foundation and will be awarded a charity badge at Brownies.

Hair do 7

Grace raised £200 for the Primrose Foundation by donating her hair and got her Charity Badge for Brownies – with the Dare 2 ladies. From left to right Marie, Joan, Denise, Grace, Kathryn, Madeleine from the Primrose Foundation, Isabelle, Hellen, Michelle, Catherine and me.

Some months ago I sent an email to the Sunday Times, tweaked it a bit and sent it to the Mail on Sunday as well.  As you know from a previous entry the Sunday Times ran the Dare 2 bare story under the banner of reasons to be cheerful and how 9 very different women had come together at a time of adversity.

I didn’t expect to hear anything from the editor of YOU magazine but I did.  Miranda, one of the editors emailed me back as she wanted more information about the group, what we had done last year and the plans for this September.  This culminated in a photoshoot which took place at the Duke of Cornwall hotel on 1st September.  A photographer from Bodmin, Emily Whitfield-Wicks Emily  had been commissioned to make us look glam.  To help her a hair stylist and make up artist also joined her.  We all met at 9am at the Duke – there was a lot of excitement.  The dancers:  Marie, Hellen, Joan, Denise, Kathryn, Catherine and Michelle all put their burlesque basques and can can costumes on.  Sally, who had been instrumental in coming up with the idea (along with Catherine) last year came along too.  We had all shared our individual stories and our part in the Dare 2 Bare ball and the journalist had been tasked to condense it all down to 2000 words.   We were primped and va va voomed with hairspray, products and lip gloss.  We were good to go.  Craig was the hair stylist who was so funny that he put us all at our ease.   We looked great.  Emily arranged us on chairs in the ballroom and on the stairs, Sally and I weren’t in costumes as neither of us are dancing this year.  I wore an evening gown and we both carried the feather fans from last year.  In some of the group photos we almost look like 2 groups but that is to allow for staples so we might be in the centre of the magazine.

The article will be in the magazine on 22nd September – just in time for a bit of additional PR for the ball on 28th.  It doesn’t matter a jot that the costumes will be seen in advance – there will be plenty of surprises on the night. If anything it will help with fundraising. The tensions which were starting to come to the fore will have subsided. The dancers are rehearsing weekly, the dance is coming on, we have some great auction prizes, lots of raffles, the seats are all sold, menus selected… I’ve written the script to be the hostess with the mostest and I’ve a big pair of shoes to step into as Judi Spiers and Shelley did it last year.  It will be alright on the night (fingers crossed).

85: A peculiar week

On Facebook memories pop up.  This week one of mine was a photo of when Nick and I had been paddleboarding for the first time (only time) two years ago.  It was on our return home from our water activities that I had a letter inviting me to attend a follow up to the earlier routine mammogram.  This really was the start of the impatient patient story.

Earlier this week I had a GP Appointment to discuss my fit note and return to work.  If it were up to me I’d be in next week at the start of term.  This would resolve my FOMO fear of missing out as I thrive on the cut and thrust of school life (what if school decides they don’t need me… as I’m away too long)  However, I have to be SENSIBLE as physically I’m just not ready yet.  I am walking further but not lifting anything so sets of books will be a challenge (I must request a small servant for when I return).  My toob is healing well and feels so much better than the cannonball but I don’t have a full range of movement yet on the reconstruction side.  The GP looked at my tummy and has given me some antibiotic cream to apply 4 times a day as it is still gruey (which is  a technical term).  I have also had a physio assessment and will start a clinical pilates rehab next week for an hour for 6 weeks.  I asked the physio if I could go back to spin, the gym or start swimming and the answer to all three was a resounding NO.  So it is walking and physio exercises only… yawn, yawn, yawn.

However, it is a peculiar week as this FB post will explain:

“A funny old day as “Cancerversary” …. this time last year I was on top of the Rock of Gibraltar with a rock in my chest (temporary implant), this time two years ago I was in a headspin as earlier in the day I’d been at the Primrose Breast Care Clinic and what I imagined was going to be a smudge on a mammogram turned out to be breast cancer and would require a mastectomy. Today… well I am meeting up with other ladies as part of the Dare2 team, all BC ladies, to prepare for the next ball. The cannonball is no more (hurrah) and I have a 7 week old Toob (tummy boob), a new tummy button and tummy tuck/abdominoplasty (with a bit of a gruey scar). Thank you all for the support and help – virtual or in person – lots to be grateful for and although Jacob Rees-Mogg might not like it … looking forward to “moving forward”. I won’t be back in school for a few weeks as the DIEP reconstruction was a big old op involving 6 hours in theatre and a week at Costa Del Derriford being highly dependent on Lynher Ward. Physio starts next week, driving in a couple of weeks and when healed back to the Life Centre. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… not sure about that but it does change your perspective. “

There is a lot to be grateful for, mainly for the huge amount of support, love and kindness.  Lots to feel sad about too – hearing about some other BC women who have developed mets or died.  I’d love to say that I was like Victoria Derbyshire now and could write a post entitled “Dear Cancer, love Fiona” but I can’t (yet).  It is two years since the consultant said “it is cancer and will require a mastectomy” – in some ways it feels like a lifetime ago and in others that it has gone very quickly.  Sometimes I feel almost defined by this diagnosis and very one dimensional – what did I have to talk about before?  In other ways I think that by having had this I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful (and not so wonderful) people and experienced some real highs and lows.  I’ve seen the very best of people and the worst of others.  I’ve found out who my true friends and advocates are, who to rely on and who not to invest in any further.  I am coming to terms with it more.  I’m reading a book called “Change your thinking” and using CBT techniques – write down your fears or bad thoughts – leave it and then rationalise them.  There is no doubt that the reconstruction has helped.  I know I will never be the old me.  I am changed physically with a new batch of scars and mentally – trying to be more robust.  I don’t have to please everyone all the time – it is impossible to do and leads to stress and anxiety.  It if ok to make mistakes, if something isn’t perfect that is fine too.  I can try my best, although Doug Lemov says sometimes your best isn’t good enough – but my best for today is.  I don’t have a mantra or special word to change but I am trying to live by this..

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference

But… if certain people in this household don’t stop eating as if an Exocet missile has been launched just as I have dished up their meal – we are not at war… there is no action messing required in the kitchen….  or if this whole Brexit thing never ends….. or if the ironing never get done.. or if that colleague doesn’t remove the hand sanitiser from their belt…..  I might need a a new prayer!

84: Danger – UXB

As a Trustee of the Primrose Foundation I felt I should become more involved in supporting fundraising activities.  Where there are events the Trustees are send a group email to see if they are able to support and promote the charity.  One such event was to attend an Am-Dram theatre performance near Liskeard.  I’m still unable to drive , being less than 7 weeks post-op, so a lift was arranged and I looked forward to an outing where I’d be able to talk about the foundation.

I was picked up and we made our way to collect another colleague, who lives in a beautiful house over looking rural Devon and Cornwall.  We decanted the Primrose “merch” from one car to another and set off for Upton Cross.

Two miles away from out destination and we ground to a halt as a “Police Road Closed” sign stralled the country lane.  We got out and examined beyond the sign… down the hill, no sign of an accident, no fallen trees… what was going on?  Had the sign been left and forgotten?  A few cars had backed up behind us and there was concern that we’d broken down.  An extraordinary looking large man on a very small motorbike drove past, stopped and backed up… he asked “where are you going?”  Upton Cross……

“ahh no darlin, no joy you getting there because the Police have closed the road, them Bomb Squad is there too… theys found an old UXB”.

We relayed this information along the line of cars, which all turned around and headed back, which we did too.  I got home in time to watch the last episode of Poldark.

Captain Poldark, Demelza, George Warleggan… 50 million episodes all with roughly the same story – Cornish scenery, blowing up of “Frenchies, smuggling brandy, romance, bonnets and breeches…no one does a period Drama like the BBC (except for the odd drama in real life).

I have been fortunate enough to have had three children (not called: Ross, Demelza or George).  Any parent will tell you there are dramas as children grow up.  None of ours have been as predictable as Poldark as we don’t have a tin mine or as visceral as Eastenders but at the time they can be hard enough.  Recently, one of our three thas been going through a tough time, not knowing which fork in the path to take and been a bit lost.  This seems worse when the other two appear to be well settled, in good jobs and relationships.  However, all is not lost and with some tough love and the help of good friends this young person is getting back on track.  Exercise, diet and changing the way of thinking with a more positive outlook is starting to have a good effect.”

My generation is sometimes referred to as the “sandwich” generation – worries about children and worries about parents.  My mum is scheduled to have a new hip at the end of September.  When I went with her for the consultation it was apparent just how much pain she’d been in and just how stoic she’d been.  Worries about my dad’s declining health means she had put herself well down the “round to it” list.  This is now rectified.  When her good leg was being manipulated by the orthopedic surgeon she told him she could do the Can Can with it, when he tried to manipulate the dodgy one she almost hit the ceiling as it was so painful.  All the hydrotherapy sessions she had dutifully attended had had no impact and it is a new hip which is required.  This means 4 days in hospital and 6 weeks rehabilitation.  So now the worry is how to help in the most effective way.

83: 28 Days later (and a few more)

To my knowledge I haven’t woken up in a horror movie where there has been a huge pandemic, however, it is about 28 days later since I said goodbye to the cannonball.  My recovery has been on an upward trajectory – from a low starting point with one or two blips on the way.

Positives about being home are many and varied and include being able to sit in the garden.  My first night at home was restless, so much so that Nick retreated to a different bedroom after asking if I intended to lie still at any point.  I’m sad to say that it was to my advantage as I could wriggle as much I liked and could roll out on my right side without putting any pressure on the new boob to head off to the en-suite.  No more walking down a corridor past all the other surgical patients.  The next morning I was treated to breakfast in bed and then managed a shower by myself and then made my way to a steamer chair in the garden.  Armed with water bottle, full of squash and ice, phone and book and sunglasses I was lowered into position.  Fresh air and sunshine – all was well and I was left to my own devices.  This was great for a while but once the sun hid it was chilly and I couldn’t get myself out of the chair.  Fortunately, I had my phone and could call Nick who came down to the garden and helped to hoist me up.  My first goal had been achieved.  Each day I had a small goal which included walking further.  What I hadn’t bargained for was just how exhausted I felt after any activity.

I had a number of visitors including my Principal on the day before the end of term – I was up dressed and we sat and chatted about holidays.  Other friends and my parents visited and it was good to see them all.  Another goal was to go to Stoke Village.  The first couple of visits were by car but soon enough I was walking further.  Some friends drove me to Devonport Park so we could walk round and have a coffee. One Sunday a friend called for me and we walked slowly all the way to the park and back.  I’m used to walking briskly it was a bit frustrating.  Other friends took me to the Hoe whilst Nick was sailing.  I was getting there and drinking a lot of coffee!

Every first Sunday of the month there is a farmers’ market at the Royal William Yard and usually we would walk from home but it was too far 4 weeks post op.  We drove halfway there and walked along Durnford Street, past all the Georgian terraced houses and Stonehouse Barracks which is where 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines are housed. The architecture is lovely and our eldest son and daughter were baptised at St Christopher’s church above the main gate of the Barracks.  The great thing about the market is the wide variety of stalls which sell everything from felt/woollen slippers, to honey to bread and…. goats cheese.  This is the only cheese I will eat on the rainbow diet so I bought a matchbox size piece of hard cheese for my consumption only!  A great coffee opportunity too at the HUTONG Cafe where it doesn’t matter if you are a hipster or a person needing a new hip.  Suitably refreshed Nick and I headed back towards the car and we met Mr X with his family who all stopped and chatted.  It appears that consultants are real people too (I wonder if my students think that if they see me out of school and in “mufti”).

The next night I treated myself to some of my cheese (nope, not sharing) and biscuits.  What a mistake to make as during the night and next day I was horribly sick.  How my stitches didn’t split I don’t know.  My husband, wondered if there was a party next door as he heard “someone being sick”, my daughter “thought it was a cat” – no it was me.  What a wash out – great for weight loss, terrible for feeling human.

Other activities during this period have included trips to the Primrose Breast Care Centre to have iodine dressings applied to my tummy wound – there are a couple of patches which aren’t healing up as fast as the rest.    One recent trip has been back to the Nuffield Hospital to see Mr A.  His secretary phoned me to say thank you for the card I’d sent – always a good idea to send a thank you card, just in case you are in need of the services of those involved again – and would I like to pop up for a “freebie” so he could see how it was going.

We trooped up to the Nuffield in the electro-jalopy.  Parking is not an issue, there is not an impossible car park but a very accessible one, no one smokes their fags outside and when you have booked in you are invited to help yourself to a hot drink and read the Times or Telegraph.

Mr A called us in and asked how it was.  The thank you card I sent saying “you were right – this surgery is an assault on the body” was on the desk.  Mr A asked me to jump up onto the bed and looked at my tummy.  With some sterile tweezers he ripped off a bit of the scab.. yes that was fine, just the dissolvable stitches and a few knots being rejected by my body.  Then he said “I have to say this….  show us your t*ts”.  Nick and I were crying with laughter and then it was off with sports bra and release the beast.  Mr A had a good look at the scar under my arm and the new belly nipple area.  It was looking good.  There is an old hematoma on the inside edge of the new toob.  I’ve to massage the scars with bio oil and Savlon and massage the hematoma.  It was agreed that the new toob was larger than the original and the remaining boob… it could settle down or when I went to see Mr X in a few weeks it might need to have a bit of liposuction.  Time would tell.

We then had a discussion about how Lynher Ward had improved and I will write to the CEO of Derriford to let her know.  There is some tension I think between patient expectations, the demands on the Plastics team and what the Breast Care Centre would like to offer.   Managing resources, people, patients – it must be like 3D chess or air traffic control.  Beyond me – but I’m grateful for the results!


82: Going home

There was no doubt I was on the mend and starting to come to terms with the new me – without the cannonball. It was Tuesday morning and the usual routine was established.  After the handover from the night shift to the day Nick arrived with smoked salmon, smashed avocado and bread to toast.  Above my bed there was a sign which said Fiona Osmaston – no caffeine, no dairy, no red meat, yet every time Nick went to the kitchen to ask them toast the seeded brown bread the staff asked if I was gluten free (I’m not!).  I’m only dairy and red meat free as I follow the Rainbow diet and try and reduce any form of estrogen.  Following breakfast it was back to the shower room.. we had this sussed and Nick was suitably kitted out in his grey crocs, white plastic pinny and laden with towels escorted me to the shower room. Ahh simple pleasures – being clean and in a clean hospital gown (done up  back to front to keep the gamgee in place and for easier holding of the remaining drain).

As we shuffled, well I shuffled, Nick walked holding the drain we passed the nurses station where we spotted Mr X who had returned to work that morning.  He was smiling and said I looked really well, which was hilarious as I was shuffling along in surgical stockings, stripy slippers, walking at an angle of 45 degrees with wet hair.. I may not be a supermodel but I’ve certainly looked better.

A short while later Mr X with his team, including the tall Indian locum came for a visit.  The discharge from the drain was checked, the tummy incision and new boob checked and it was decreed that the drain could come out and I could go home that day.  Mr X asked me how it had been and I explained that Lynher Ward would be getting a good review on Trip Adviser, which raised a laugh.  In all seriousness I did say how wonderful the nursing had been, especially from Sister D and how that without her I didn’t think I’d have got through the first few days and nights.  It had been a totally different experience.  The team moved on and a little while later Sister H popped in and told me that every few years nursing staff had to provide evidence that their work has made a real difference and would I be willing to write something for Sister D whose reaccreditation would be coming up in the near future.  I told her I’d be delighted and if she could provide me with some paper I’d set to it immediately.  So I did, with a great deal of pleasure.  I wrote a page of A4 describing in detail the care I’d had, the attention to detail, the confidence I’d felt particularly as everything was explained to me as it was being done.  I wrote that Sister D was the ultimate professional and that that as a clinical educator she was a great asset to the nursing profession.  I passed the essay to Sister H and said I’d be happy to write another one for the ward if I could have another piece of paper.   Sister H passed the essay to Sister D and later popped in to see me to say that the essay had made D cry.  That hadn’t been my intention – but she wasn’t upset just touched.  Sister D came to see me later in the day and told me about how she’d got into nursing – as a youngster she’d been admitted to hospital and stayed for several weeks, when she returned home she told her mum that she wanted to be a nurse when she finished school.

I wrote another essay to say how well treated I’d been on the ward and suggested they send it to the CEO of the hospital.  The tall Indian Locum consultant then popped in and asked me to fill in a form for him for the GMC – it seems Doctors also need feedback from happy patients.  I was more than happy to fill in the form which was mainly tick boxes and left it with the nursers station.  Next job to get rid of the drain and cannula before putting on my own clothes.  The drain was removed by one of the staff nurses.  This was the the most painful drain as I suspect it was the deepest and longest.  A deep breath in and a long pilates breath out and the drain was swiftly removed.  The cannula was dead easy and a quick exit. Two dressings applied and it was into my own clothes.  One of the junior doctors came along and discussed me the discharge and fit notes which outlined how many weeks recovery in the first instance and the fact that I was not to travel for 6 weeks. I was to see Sister S, the BCN in a week or so and Mr X in three months.  That was it! Nick brought a card and a big bag of fruit for the team and then it was the long walk to the main exit. This was the furthest I’d walked in a week.  The walk from the ward to the lift only required one rest, once up the floor 6, the walk to the front door looked about a mile long. This walk did require a rest – at the wheelchair stand in the main concourse.

The gamgee proved very useful in the car as a layer of padding for the seatbelt.  A short drive and we were home.  We sat in the garden, in the summer sunshine and had a cup of tea and I felt overwhelmed with weariness, I decided to head up to bed for a snooze and then I got all teary.. I think all that pent up emotion, the enormity of the surgery and the relief to be home.  I slept for a good couple of hours.

81: The shower room

About 18 months or so ago when I had the dreaded mastectomy and my staycation was a mere 3 days I had a bath and hairwash in the bathroom which Nick cleaned.  Monday was day 6 of the staycation and although I’d had my hair washed over said bath and had washed in hibiscrub using the cardboard basins as a water vessel I felt pretty rancid – I also thought my dressings were starting to smell.  After the morning checks, the last drain was still filling too quickly so I wasn’t allowed home,  I begged to have a shower.  The staff nurse gave me the green light to go and Nick did a recce of the shower room.  A room 3m x 4m with a sloping floor, large plug-hole at the shower end, a fold out seat, a shower attached to the wall, a chair near the door and a pair of size 6 blue dotty welly boots (these were for the HCAs and nurses).  Nick had on his sailing shoes, found towels and put on one of the nurses white plastic aprons.

He helped me shuffle from the room, free of saline drips and with one drain left and we entered the room, locked the door so I could disrobe out of the gownie and dispense of the gamgee (which was honking as I’d been so hot and sweaty).  The water was tepid but it didn’t matter, the shower hose didn’t extend far from the support but that was fine as it meant I could face the wall and hang on to it one way then sit on the fold out seat the other.  The simplest things in life make such a difference to your wellbeing.  I was washed down in hibiscrub, rinsed off, used proper shampoo on my hair and rinsed that too.  I felt more human and less patient like.

The downside of the shower was that the dressings were soaked, but in the grand scheme of things that wasn’t important as they could be replaced.  With a towel around my head like the Queen of Sheba, wearing my dressing gown and drain I shuffled back to the room – Ted sockless, but not for long.

The young staff nurse looking after me today introduced me to a student nurse who had finished her training and who would be joining the ward as a fully qualified member of the team in September.  She was a nice girl who was a little nervous.  Nick dried my hair and the student nurse brought a new pair of surgical stockings.  She had a great technique – the plastic bag which the stockings were in were put over a foot at a time and this helped smooth the way to drag the super tight stockings over my toes, encase my feet, ankles and secure my calves.  It was very efficient. The only slightly off putting thing was that this young woman asked if I was a Headteacher, no… I’m on the leadership team at my school… she then exclaimed that I must be on a good salary.  I am (and work hard for it), but I wasn’t sure it was the sort of thing to be discussing.

Nick had to go and the staff nurse explained to the student nurse how my dressings were to be changed.  I was in teacher mode and listened to the staff nurse very attentively as she explained to the student how the dressings under my arm were to be done first, then the one on the tummy boob, complete with flap for regular checks, drain wounds, belly button and finally the incision from hip to hip. The staff nurse left to attend to other duties and the student left to get a dressing trolley, a pack and multiple dressings.  The poor girl was very nervous.. I was lying on the bed with my dressing gown on making soothing noises and asking her what she was doing so she could talk it all through – I frequently chunter on to myself when engaged in a task so thought this could help her.

The dressing trolly with the pack, wrapped in blue sugar paper, was duly undone, white sterile gloves were adorned… there is a technique which nurses use so they don’t touch the outside of the gloves.  The student had a clean plastic apron on, she was more and more nervous… her hair was falling into her eyes so she used her forearm to more it out of the way.  The dressing under the arm was straight forward, pack open, apply, peel off – done.  The dressing over the boob more complicated and I reminded her that it needed to have a flap cut into it… she proceeded to get her scissors out of her top pocket…. arghhh… I asked if these were sterile, which they weren’t, so it was off to the door to ask someone to bring some sterile scissors.  With the new scissors she then cut a flap into the dressing – all fine and attached.  The belly button dressing was dead easy as was the drain dressing.  The tummy incision proved more of an issue.

When the dressings were removed I could really see what my new body looked like.  My new belly button is a much nicer shape than the old, the drain incision was deep, the bruising was a variety of blues, purples, browns and yellows.  The hip to hip incision was very neat and once the dressings were off the wound was covered in what looked like a long steristrip.

The dressings had been attached so that the white wadding was edge to edge, with the clingfilm adhesive overlapping to give a continuous covering.  The student nurse started at the right hand side, first dressing on … next cling film edge, to cling film edge.  In my best teacher voice I said “oh, I’m not sure if that is quite right, I thought the dressing was white bit to white bit (so the cling film didn’t pull off the steristrips), do you think you could ask the staff nurse… ha, ha, I’m probably wrong”.  All the time thinking “come on… you will be a fully qualified nurse in a few weeks and expected to do this sort of thing all the time on your own!”.  The staff nurse returned and I just asked her to check, the hip to hip incision was started again under her supervision. Phew.   I was paranoid, still am about infection and just wanted everything to be super sterile and dressed correctly.  It was all good.

The staff nurse popped back later to make sure I was okay, which I was.  In teaching we talk about differentiation and this new almost nurse would need some support.  I mentioned the salary enquiry and suggested that the student nurse have five fairly innocuous questions to engage patients in conversation… do you live locally, have you been on holiday anywhere nice, what did you like about, have you lived in there area a long time….  anything other than what do you earn!

80: Sunday

A decent night of sleep makes such a difference.  By Sunday morning I felt like a new woman, with more than a hint of old crone.  I was going to be ready for Rounds as was up, washed, sitting in the chair when the tall Indian consultant called again.  I think he was a little surprised and said what was the difference so I replied “I just gave myself a stern talking too”.  There was the usual conflab at the end of the bed about drains and it was agreed that one of of the abdomen drains could go and that I’d need a new canular as the old one was starting to work it’s way out of my wrist.  More blood tests were called for too.

Nick arrived later than usual with the Sunday Times as it was today that our Dare 2 story was going to be in the Sunday Times magazine.

Sunday Times 3

The rest of the day passed in the routine now well established, breakfast, morning tea, observations, housekeeping order for supper on an I-Pad, cleaning staff… the young girl who cleaned my room was a delight.  We got talking and she was one of the most level headed, down to earth young women I’d met.  She’d finished at a local school and started a training course to be a Teaching Assistant.  As she hadn’t enjoyed it she took herself off to an employment agency and after a three week trial had been employed as part of housekeeping by SERCO.  She told me her hourly rate and that it was more for weekends and bank holidays and that Christmas was the best as “hospitals are open 24/7”.  With her salary she paid rent to her mum, paid back her grandad for a loan for her car, ran her car and saved up.  She wasn’t afraid of hard work.  She also said she loved being on Lynher Ward as all the staff were so nice to her.  A tiny, tiny minority of students I work with are a bit sniffy about the sorts of jobs they want to do when the finish education or training.  Sometimes they think they will walk into a job and instantly become the CEO of a multi-national company.  Perhaps it is bravado as they are not sure what they want to do – they could do a lot worse that this young woman who had a great work ethic.

My blood tests came back and the 2 units of blood had done the trick my HB level was better.  I’d finished my last bag of Saline so was free of the portable stand (so I thought…)  The new canular was a pain as it was over a bony part of my right wrist so caught on things, I’d just have to be more careful.  I was doing my shoulder rolls, lifts and made sure my left arm didn’t go above my shoulder.  I got myself ready for bed and when the Sisters did the handover asked if I could have another sleeping tablet.  My wish was granted and by 11pm, with the obs done, the flap checked I was asleep.  I had been reattached to the very last bag of saline..so the portable stand was again my friend. Roll on Monday, one step closer to going home.